fb-pixel Skip to main content

Dispatches from the near future: Globe journalists imagine summer during the pandemic.

Spending a week on the Cape seems like a dream. A sunny, sandy, gloriously relaxing dream filled with daily walks to the beach and hours lounging in the sun. It’s so far removed from the never-ending news of death and economic devastation and months of isolation we have endured, it almost doesn’t seem real. But the strange thing is, of all the ways our lives have changed as we’ve adjusted to life during a pandemic, our annual August trip to Eastham is actually not all that different than it used to be.


We’re renting the same house, with the same friends. We still walk to the private beach down the road around lunchtime every day, and sprawl out on the same patch of sand to watch the tide come in, and then go out, and out some more, until we almost can’t see the water anymore. We still take turns in the outdoor shower and cook dinner on the grill and sit by the outdoor fire after we put the kids to bed. We got our traditional takeout from Arnold’s on the night we arrived, and took the kids to the Wellfleet drive-in, curling up in blankets inside the hatchback when we got sleepy. This year we even snagged a coveted permit for a sunset bonfire on the beach.

Some things have been different, of course. We have to wear masks to the grocery store, and on bike rides on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Ladies’ day out getting massages while the guys take the kids bowling is off the table. And we haven’t felt comfortable joining our beach neighbors on their giant flotation device for a leisurely bob in the ocean.

We had to shorten our stay by a day, because of rigorous new cleaning policies for rental homes. And we made sure to give the faucets and light switches an extra swipe of Lysol before we settled in.


But we still have the beach. We still have the sun on our faces and sand covering every inch of our house.

We feel more normal than we have in months.

Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.